Harta Karun

The Harta Karun document collection is a growing body of transcribed and translated manuscripts vital for our understanding of the early modern history of the Indonesian Archipelago and  the Asian-European encounter. Historians and archivists are working together at ANRI to make available a selection of documents from the digitalized series of this website. The selected and translated documents fall into four main categories and twenty-four subcategories which you can find in the table below. You can download these documents which are alllisted under the tab 'All documents'.

Harta Karun means ‘Hidden Treasures’. This collection is based on a wealth of so far largely unused primary sources in the ANRI VOC archives. Archivists and global historians specialized in the use of VOC archives are selecting, preparing and publishing these documents with the help of skilled translators.

One of the main principles of selection is to identify documents which can shed light on the local and regional history of pre-colonial and early modern Nusantara in the 200 years between 1600 and1800. Nusantara is the ancient name for the Indonesian Archipelago dating from the time of the great kingdoms of Srivijaya and Majapahit. We have chosen the name of the Nusantara because many features of the old world of the Nusantara still existed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thousands of documents in the VOC archives were actually written by the rulers and people of the Nusantara. Although most of the original documents have been lost, the translations in old Dutch have survived.

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